Category: Financial Planning
Tags: IRAs, Retirement

8 Reasons to Convert to a Roth IRA

Posted on: December 11th, 2009
As most people know by now, the $100,000 income limit on the ability to convert a traditional IRA to a tax-free Roth IRA will disappear next year.  In addition, a taxpayer who does a conversion in 2010 can pay the tax due from the conversion in 2011 and 2012 (by including 50% of the conversion income in each year).  There are innumerable articles about Roth conversions and the math involved, with many differing opinions about the advisability of converting.  Bottom line, make sure you hire the appropriate professionals to crunch the numbers and otherwise advise you before making a decision.  You really need to consult your financial advisor, CPA and estate planning attorney to ensure that you are fully informed.
Here’s a quick list from tax guru Bob Keebler, CPA:
(1)  Taxpayers have special favorable tax attributes including charitable deduction carry-forwards, investment tax credits, high basis non-deductible traditional IRAs, etc.
(2)  Suspension of the minimum distribution rules at age 70½ provides a considerable advantage to the Roth IRA holder.
(3)  Taxpayers benefit from paying income tax before estate tax (when a Roth IRA election is made) compared to the income tax deduction obtained when a traditional IRA is subject to estate tax.
(4)  Taxpayers who can pay the income tax on the IRA from non-IRA funds benefit greatly from the Roth IRA because of the ability to enjoy greater tax-free yields.
(5)  Taxpayers who need to use IRA assets to fund their Unified Credit bypass trust are well advised to consider making a Roth IRA election for that portion of their overall IRA funds.
(6) Future distributions to beneficiaries are generally tax-free. 
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